(See my review)
The Burton Review welcomes Abigail Reynolds with the following guest post:
Please see below on details for the book giveaway!
How do I pick the scenes to change in my stories? By making things easier, then making them harder. Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy: The Last Man in the World starts with a very dramatic difference. Elizabeth is forced to accept Darcy’s first proposal, and since she knows him to be an ill-tempered and resentful man, she is afraid to tell him the truth of what she thinks of them. Their big conflict comes after they are married. I started writing Pride & Prejudice what-if stories because I was having an argument with Darcy. Yes, I have arguments with fictional characters. I was re-reading Pride & Prejudice for the umpteenth time and came to the scene in the Lambton Inn where Elizabeth confides in Darcy about her sister’s elopement with Wickham. As readers, we know Darcy is already thinking about how to solve her problem, but Elizabeth thinks he’s disgusted by her now and can’t wait to get away from her. It’s fabulous dramatic tension as only Austen can write it. Darcy was about to walk out of the room with a long, silent look which Elizabeth misinterprets as a final farewell. I just couldn’t stand it, so I grabbed Darcy by the cravat and told him that he needed to open his idiotic mouth and tell Elizabeth how he felt instead of assuming she could read his mind. The next thing I knew, I was writing From Lambton to Longbourn.
For the next book, Impulse & Initiative, I started with another moment when Darcy’s choices were making me tear my hair out. He’d written Elizabeth that long letter explaining himself, and now that she actually had a chance to understand him, what does he do? Nothing! If it weren’t for a coincidence, Darcy and Elizabeth would never have seen each other again. So in Impulse & Initiative, Darcy decides to woo Elizabeth rather than giving up on her. Another solution.
One thing I learned in writing those first two books was that it becomes very difficult to keep Darcy and Elizabeth apart once they have a chance to talk openly to each other. I’d never appreciated how hard Jane Austen had worked to throw obstacles in their way to prevent that open conversation. She used misunderstandings, coincidences, plot devices, and the Regency conventions regarding unmarried men and women to prolong the story. It wouldn’t have been much of a book if Elizabeth and Darcy sat down after the first proposal, cleared the air, and fell in love.
It made me want to try to throw some obstacles of my own in their way. I discovered that was even more fun than solving Austen’s problems. In By Force of Instinct, Georgiana became an impediment to our favorite couple finding resolution. In Without Reserve, the scenario came from a discussion with other Austen fans. Someone raised the point that Elizabeth had very few choices when it came to marriage. Mr. Collins was an intolerable fool, and Wickham was too poor to be a serious suitor. At the same time, Elizabeth faced a future of genteel poverty for herself and her family if she didn’t marry. When Darcy returns to make the second proposal, she would have been crazy to turn him down, even if she hadn’t loved him. But what would have happened if Darcy had some real competition for Elizabeth’s love? That led to the invention of Mr. James Covington, a pleasant young man who could provide Elizabeth with a stable future. And when Darcy returned to Hertfordshire to propose to Elizabeth, he found that Mr. Covington had reached her first. Then the interesting part begins!
I pulled out all the stops on obstacles for Mr. Darcy’s Obsession, which will be released in October 2010. Mrs. Bennet’s worst fears come true. Mr. Bennet dies, conveniently forcing Elizabeth to leave Kent before Darcy has a chance to make that first ill-fated proposal. Mr. Collins takes possession of Longbourn, leaving the Bennet women dependent on the generosity of their relations. This knocks Elizabeth down the social ladder several more notches, making her a totally unsuitable potential bride for Darcy. But don’t worry - I always give a happy Darcy/Elizabeth ending!
Thanks for inviting me as a guest blogger. I love talking about Elizabeth and Darcy!
MR. FITZWILLIAM DARCY: THE LAST MAN IN THE WORLD
IN STORES JANUARY 2010!
In this sexy Jane Austen sequel, Elizabeth Bennet accepts Mr. Darcy's first marriage proposal, answering the "What if...?" question fans everywhere have pondered
"I had not known you a month before I felt that you were the last man in the world whom I could ever be prevailed on to marry."
Famous last words indeed! Elizabeth Bennet's furious response to Mr. Darcy's marriage proposal has resonated for generations of readers. But what if she had never said it? Would she have learned to recognize Mr. Darcy's admirable qualities on her own? Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy follows Elizabeth and Darcy as they struggle to find their way through the maze of their prejudices after Elizabeth, against her better judgment, agrees to marry Darcy instead of refusing his proposal.
Two of the most beloved characters in English literature explore the meaning of true love in a tumultuous and passionate attempt to make a success of their marriage.
About the Author
Abigail Reynolds is a physician and a lifelong Jane Austen enthusiast. She began writing The Pemberley Variations series in 2001, and encouragement from fellow Austen fans convinced her to continue asking “What if…?”
She lives with her husband and two teenage children in Madison, Wisconsin. For more information, please visit http://pemberleyvariations.com/
2 copies of Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy by Abigail Reynolds!!
2 winners, US and Canada only!!!
Ends January 15, 2010.
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Jan 5, 2010
(See my review)